A police friend of mind challenged me about second careers for street cops. “There aren’t many jobs for retired police officers,” he said. That got me thinking about what opportunities are out there other than the ones I pursued.
“It depends on what you want to do,” a retired police officer said when I asked him about the best jobs for retired cops. That makes sense. We each have our own interests and ideas for what to do when our police career ends. Some want a full time new career, others a part-time job.
These are jobs I found retired cops working at right now.
Private Investigator: This is an obvious follow-up to a career in police investigations. Many private investigators got their start in police organizations. After they retired from policing some started their own investigations firms. Others hired on with PI companies that were already established.
Security: After a full police career, a natural second career would be in corporate security. But a friend of mine who did so reminded me the job is much more than rattling door knobs now. He took some training and got certified as a security professional. If this field interests you, check out ASIS International for all the latest in security training and certification at https://www.asisonline.org/Pages/default.aspx
Workers’ Compensation or Insurance Investigations: Two areas of investigation. One is fraud-related investigating suspicious compensation claims. The other is fatal and serious injury investigations in the workplace. I worked in this field after my police career and many of our investigators were retired police officers.
Author/Speaker: Who has better stories than cops? There’s a great organization called the Public Safety Writers Association where police authors can find support and share their experiences. Here’s a link. https://policewriter.com/wordpress/
Realtor: A friend of mine became a realtor after he retired from policing. He told me that you’d be surprised about how many of your police skills are used in dealing with people selling or purchasing a home. He said either of those transactions can be very stressful for those involved and sometimes it takes all his police skills to keep them calm as they go through it.
College Instructor: For all you police officers who are involved in training, this is a good next stop after your police career, especially if you have academic credentials.
Human Resources Advisor: A retired police officer I know got started in police HR and went on from there to work in corporate HR. He did some extra HR training before he left police work.
Long-haul Truck Driver: A pal of mine retired from policing and had always had a dream to be a long-haul truck driver. He took some training after retiring from policing and spent several years driving all over North America. For him it was living the dream.
VIP Security/Chauffer/Personal Driver: If you’re a police officer you’ll be able to see the connection between your police skills and this type of work. Executive protection is an interesting part of the security business.
Small Ferry Boat Operator: A senior police executive wanted to do something completely different from the endless demands of leading a police department. This job certainly meets that need.
A few more ways retired police have made a living: rancher, gun smith, therapist for first responders, high school sports coach, doorman at a high-end hotel, and chief of a smaller department.
“I thought it was the last job I’d ever have,” said Tim Dees, a retired police officer. Then he went on to eight different jobs after he left policing.
What do you want to do? Take some time when you’re still in your police career to think about it. A lot of street cops want to work after they retire, but not under the same working conditions a police officer puts up with. Plan ahead. Get some idea what you want to do. Train and upgrade your credentials if necessary. There’s a second career out there if you want it.
Retired police officer
Author of Second Careers for Street Cops